Occasionally, an exceptionally outstanding property draws your eye; the design artfully created, the structure beautifully built, the attention to detail ensures that every feature complements the style. Sometimes, it is necessary to expand and extend the property, to ensure that it accommodates the needs of those who use it; this must be carried out with great skill and sensitivity, so that none of the original attraction is lost.
It’s not the economy, nor the operations of a business that make it successful, it’s the people who make it happen.” Andrew Deverell Smith
And so it is with the expansion of Deverell Smith (DSR), the London property recruitment specialists. The harsh economic climate has eaten away at many businesses, but the solid foundation and well-structured design of Deverell Smith ensured that the company has done more than weather the storms. DSR has doubled its turnover year on year every year since its founding in 2006.
DSR’s success is due to its people – it is, after all, a recruitment company. The business started six years ago with a ‘staff’ of one, in a small office in a Georgian terrace property in Mayfair. Now, in addition to its Mayfair office, the company occupies 4,500 square feet in the innovative Centre Point building in London’s West End.
Andrew Deverell Smith, Managing Director, says, “It’s not the economy, nor the operations of a business that make a business successful, it’s the people who make it happen.”
The same is true for the property industry, Deverell Smith has always believed in the importance of both hiring and placing professionals who add value to a business. They have placed many negotiators who last year personally billed in excess of £1,000,000!
Hiring the right professional can be extremely beneficial, but as with the property that draws your eye, if it is not given enough attention, it can start costing you a fortune. Which raises the question, what kind of money will be lost to the company if your most successful negotiator decides to leave ?
In the 2011 Deverell Smith Recruitment Key Attraction Survey, a surprising 75 per cent of employees were not satisfied with their employment in the property industry. A 75 per cent dissatisfaction rate is a costly way to conduct business, given the expense of training, the loss of revenue, the risk of data theft and the cost of hiring new starters.
Deverell Smith invests in finding the best staff from the outset and spends time training and developing them so that they continue to make the business a success. This has been a huge contributor to the continued growth of DSR and is reflected in the low employee turnover.
The Key Attraction Factor Survey conducted by the business highlighted another significant trend – it is not the basic salary that is key to attracting and retaining the best talent, but simple processes – a clearly defined career path, a well articulated vision for the future, an employee career development plan – these factors can make all the difference when attracting and retaining the best talent.
The DSR team has a clear vision for the future and a strong belief that this vision embraces the exciting opportunities that open up throughout the UK property industry. As the company grows, opportunities arise for progression; of the five new employees who joined the company in January, three have recently been offered full-time consultancy posts. Another five graduates start with the firm this month. Andrew Deverell Smith says that, “We aim to strengthen the businesses that work in partnership with it and to develop the company into a world renowned recruitment specialist. DSR does not see itself as a lonely stronghold set apart on a hill – it takes pride in being an elegant, expanding structure, taking value from, and adding value to, all the many and various business structures which surround it, communicate with it, and together create a vibrant, forward-looking community.”
A sign of DSR’s commitment to the growth and improvement of the industry is the launch of its second annual Key Attraction Survey, which is tackling a simple but crucial question for all those working as estate agents: what is most important to you, which do you value most: a higher basic salary or a stronger commission percentage?
The results of the survey will be published in The Negotiator in September, and will provide invaluable insights into how estate agency companies can attract and retain the best consultants, by meeting their actual needs, rather than guessing at what they might want.